41 Wake Forest L. Rev. 347 (2006)
The History and Future of Health Care Law: An Essentialist View

handle is hein.journals/wflr41 and id is 357 raw text is: ARTICLES & ESSAYS
THE HISTORY AND FUTURE OF HEALTH CARE LAW:
AN ESSENTIALIST VIEW
Mark A. Hall*
I.   A THUMBNAIL INTELLECTUAL HISTORY OF
ACADEMIC HEALTH LAW
This symposium was organized to consider the scope, content,
and future direction of health law. One's view on these questions
necessarily depends on who is asking and for what purposes. Legal
practitioners will have a very different view of the field, for instance,
than lawmakers and other public policy analysts.! I approach this
inquiry from the perspective of a legal academic by considering how
the subject is taught in law schools and conceived by the community
of health law scholars, as reflected in leading casebooks2 and in
academic commentary about the field. What one quickly observes is
* Fred D. and Elizabeth L. Turnage Professor of Law, Wake Forest
University. Work on this Article was supported in part by a grant from the
Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, under its Investigator Awards in Health
Policy Research program. The Article benefited from comments by participants
in the December 2005 workshop, Rethinking Health Law, at Wake Forest
University School of Law and in a faculty colloquium at the University of
Pennsylvania Law School.
1. This diversity of perspectives is reflected, for instance, in the various
approaches to these questions presented in a symposium last year in Health
Matrix, which asked contributors to reflect on the past, present, and future of
health law. Symposium, The Field of Health Law: Its Past and Future, 14
HEALTH MATRIX 1 (2004). See also Peter D. Jacobson, Health Law 2005: An
Agenda, 33 J.L. MED. & ETHICs 725 (2005).
2. Despite my conflict of interest, I examine mainly William Curran's
casebooks, on several of which I am a coauthor, because they span the longest
time and the largest number of topics. I also focus on the casebook by Furrow
and colleagues because it is the one that has been most widely used over the
past decade and a half, and it too covers the full breadth of the field. Other
casebooks also deserve close attention, but this Article is not meant to be a
casebook survey, and these others have existed in only one or two editions or
focus on only portions of the field.

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